Turkish Policy QuarterlyTurkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) provides an international forum for practitioners, opinion leaders and researchers on Turkey's foreign policy, international relations and economics. TPQ and ESI are pleased to have joined forces to provide information and opinions to those interested in following Turkey's current affairs.

Past issues

Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 6, No. 1 (Spring 2007)
"Women in Turkey: Prospects and Challenges"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Emine Bozkurt

Emine Bozkurt
Ms. Emine Bozkurt is a Social Democratic Member of the European Parliament for the Netherlands

"The improvement of women's rights in Turkey is a very good example of how commitment and effective cooperation between the EU and Turkey can work very positively. […] Instead of providing temporary solutions to particular issues, progressive regulations should be put in practice. The existence of political will is one of the sine qua nons of the efforts to eliminate inequalities, and to promote gender equality."

TPQ-article: "Women's human rights; Turkey's way to Europe"

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Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz

Nimet Çubukçu
Nimet Çubukçu is the State Minister Responsible for Women and Family Affairs in Turkey

"Women in Turkey are pleased to know that women's rights and gender equality is a very important part of the acquis communautaire and that any country that wants to become a member of the EU has to adapt the principles of the acquis. Complying with the norms of the EU will bring many benefits to Turkey and, without a doubt, will also benefit the EU."

TPQ-article: "Women's rights in Turkey "

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Vladimír Špidla

Vladimír Špidla
Mr Vladimír Špidla is member of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities since November 2004. Prior to his functions at EU level, he was Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.

"Empowering women must be a priority in the pre-accession process and all stakeholders must be mobilized to ensure effective progress and implementation on the ground of the new rights. […] it is time to fight stereotypes and change mentalities. Indeed, Turkey can play a leading role in the region."

TPQ-article: "Empowering women in Turkey: a priority in the pre-accession process"

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Karita Bekkemellem

Karita Bekkemellem
Karita Bekkemellem is the Minister of Children and Equality in Norway

"The silliest thing I hear is that we don't have enough qualified women. In Norway, there are a high number of women in paid work and Norwegian women are highly educated. The reason is not that we do not have enough qualified women – indeed we do – it is that women's competence is often ignored."

TPQ-interview: "The drive towards gender equality in the workforce"

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Nebahat Akkoç

Nebahat Akkoç
Nebahat Akkoç is the founder of KAMER (Women's Center)

"In recent years, violence against women, and especially physical violence and violence that results in murder, has been brought to the agenda intensely. The efforts of women's organizations and Turkey's EU candidacy process have been effective in this sense. However sometimes we see that violence against women is taken up as if it is the "other's violence", the victimization of a group of pitiful people who are distant from our world. […] We know that the problem is not just the violence women face. The violence we face is caused by the larger system, which is what we question and promote the transformation of."

TPQ-article: "Imagining a new world "

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Katharina Knaus

Katharina Knaus
Katharina Knaus is an analyst and researcher based in Istanbul

"The process of women's legal and social emancipation in Turkey has its roots in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century. Thus, the Turkish women's movement is as old as the women's movements in other Mediterranean or European countries such as Greece, Spain or Italy, where some women started to lobby for their rights about the same time."

TPQ-article: "Turkish women: A century of change"

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Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal

Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal
Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal is the head of Başkent Kadın Platformu (Capital City Women's Platform)

"What can we do (about the headscarf) without violating principles against gender discrimination, violence and the pressure against women? In my view, the most reasonable answer to this question is to object to all pressures and impositions, including written/non-written regulations and clothing rules that deprive women of their rights in education, work and social life in the case that they are not followed. In an environment where there are no such rules and impositions, respect of a woman's personal choice to cover up or not would prevail."

TPQ-article: "The unethical disqualification of women wearing the headscarf in Turkey"

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Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz

Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz
Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz is ARI Movement Program and Funds Development Coordinator and KA-DER Projects Committee Coordinator

"Looking back at the history of women's representation in Turkey, it is quite obvious that if quotas are not implemented, it would take approximately five hundred years to reach parity, when we take into account the 3,71 percent increase within 42 years. Maybe the political parties have the patience to wait this long; but it is obvious that women do not!"

TPQ-article: "From a men’s democracy towards a real democracy"

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